Author Marshall Best is a loving father who will put in his own words below what got him to start writing. The image we have of him shows he is also quite the fisherman as I “borrowed” that from his author profile on Smashwords. The things I’d write to introduce the author are best left to his own words. His answers are just below and you will find out about Marshall and what brought him to write the story about the young Roman boy, Guiamo.
Question 1: What inspired you to write Guiamo?
Like many other authors, I began writing fiction stories to entertain my children. My first stories began as bedtime stories for my daughter Meredith when she was six. I decided to write them down and they became The Princess Meredith Bedtime Tales which are available as an e-book collection. I then decided to write stories for each of my other children. I started with a story for my son William with the main character fashioned after him. I have two other story lines for my daughter Cecily and son Elliot but they will have to wait since Guiamo has turned into a nine book series.
Question 2: Is there any significance to the name/names of your main characters?
One Summer, our family took a missionary who was visiting town out for pizza. He talked about another form of William that sounded like Guiamo. When I started writing the story for William, I decided it would be fun to use that form of his name for the main character. Later we discovered we were off with the spelling, but that’s the origin of the name.
Many of the other characters in the series are people from myths and legends. When we did a recent book tour and my wife was researching more of the books for the tour, she was amazed how many of the characters had stepped right out of history. Characters like Julius Caesar are recognized of course, but others like Eochaid, Sreng, and Nuada are also an integral part of ancient history. Groups involved in the series such as the Fir Bolg, Fomori, Pritana and Cruthin, or Tuatha De Danaan are historical groups that were involved in ancient Ireland and Britain.
Question 3: During the writing process did you find yourself thinking about any of your own memories?
Yes, one of the things I like to do is to write real life into the story. I love to make my characters “real” people. Many of these instances reflect memories I have of myself and my family or friends. Instances such as Guiamo’s friend Ursius fainting at his wedding. My characters are human and face many of the same things we do each day.
Question 4: What were some of your favorite books growing up?
I have always been a prolific reader, and found that real life stories of men like Daniel Boone and Francis “the Swamp Fox” Marion of the Revolutionary War were wonderful adventures that stirred my young imagination.
Question 5: Do you hear from fans of the book, and if you do what do they say?
Some of the earliest readers of the books are friends of my sons who read them before they were published. Although the books were not written for kids, they are “kid safe.” My sons have a buddy (he’s about 12) who has read the four Guiamo books and he just goes on and on about how great they are. He’s like a little groupie and remembers more details than I do! He makes me smile. It’s fun to see his enthusiasm and we get into some enthusiastic conversations.
I don’t hear from individual readers much except from the two book tours that we have done or reviewers we have contacted to review the books. So far, the majority of reviews have been positive. I’ve had a few that have left me feeling like I’d been hit in the stomach, but even those make me think more critically about the stories and what can be improved.
Probably my two favorite statements from reviews were “Wow, just wow!” and in talking about book two, Cúmóro, one reviewer states: “Forget about that cute and exuberant kid and meet an unleashed Guiamo and his wrath.” Book one, Guiamo, sets the stage and shows the foundations of Guiamo’s teaching that leads into the rest of the series. It’s a bit tame compared to the rest of the series.
Question 6: What was the feeling like when you saw the very first printed version of your book?
I was really excited. After all those years, I finally got to hold it in my hands. I have first run copies of each of the 4 books set aside and these will be put into a picture box to hang on the walls.
Question 7: Do you continue to write?
Yes, I’m half way through book five in The Chronicles of Guiamo Durmius Stolo. My oldest son says it’s the best of them all, and he loves them intensely. It’s possible I may write a few short stories in the near future for my two youngest. They would be Prince Cedric and Princess Emiline Tales. When the Guiamo stories are finished, I’ll work on stories for my other children.
Question 8: What is the message you want people to take away from the book?
Even a young child, with proper guidance and a good heart, can come to change the world in a wonderful way.
Question 9: If you could envision a future for your main character, what would it be?
If I told you that, it would give away books five through nine!
Question 10: Who are those in the dedication of the book, and their importance to you?
I haven’t put a dedication in them yet.
The + 1 Question: If you had any one place in the world you could travel to for a book tour, where would that place be, and why?
I would love to travel to England and Ireland and be able to visit the historical places woven into my story. It would also be a wonderful way to connect with readers whose history is an integral part of my story.
Here is where you can find his other books.
Inis Emain Ablach https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/265519
Marshall’s Bio Page https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/Optimus